World Bank: $2trn Lost Annually To Illicit Logging, Others
Illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trade rob the world of precious natural resources – and ultimately of development benefits and livelihoods, the World Bank has said.
It said the statistics are grim: an elephant is poached for its tusks about every 30 minutes, an African rhino for its horn every eight hours, one in five fish is caught illegally, and in certain countries, particularly in Africa and South America, between 50per cent to 90 per cent of timber is harvested and traded illegally. As much as 35per cent of the value of all illegal trade is estimated to come from rosewood.
Last week the World Bank issued a new report—Illegal Logging, Fishing and Wildlife Trade: The Costs and How to Combat It—that tallied the annual cost of these illegal activities at a staggering $1 trillion to $2 trillion. More than 90 per cent of these losses are from ecosystem services that forests, wildlife and coastal resources provide, and that are not currently priced by the market, such as carbon storage, biodiversity, water filtration, and flood retention, the bank said.
This market failure poses a major policy challenge for global biodiversity conservation efforts. Governments in source countries must capture financial benefits for conserving global ecosystems, and promote legal and sustainable logging and forest management, legal fishing, and wildlife trade to improve local livelihoods and increase their fiscal revenues.
“Conserving these services is critical for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Illegal activities undermine our ability to achieve many of the SDGs—especially those goals dependent on conserving biodiversity and limiting climate change. This includes goals on poverty, hunger, health, water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, life below water, and life on land,” the bank said.